9point8's Lightweight Dropper Post and New Stem - Sea Otter 2019

Apr 12, 2019
by Mike Levy  
Sea Otter 2019


These days, a lot of dropper posts employ very similar internals, namely the same sealed cartridge from the same supplier. That's not a bad thing, of course, just so long as it's reliable, but there's a small Canadian outfit that's been quietly doing it their own for years now. 9point8's Fall Line dropper post impressed me when I reviewed it back in 2015, and they showed up at Sea Otter with a new "weight optimized" version, called the Fall Line R, that's one of the lightest party posts out there.

How light? The 75mm short-travel post (275mm overall length) weighs 322-grams.


Sea Otter 2019
Sea Otter 2019
To save weight, 9point8 has gone to a one-piece stanchion and head (right). Inside, you'll find the same 'Mechanical DropLoc' expanding brake system.


The weight loss comes from 9point8 going to a one-piece stanchion tube and head instead of the normal Fall Line's two-piece design, and by simply using less material. Much like how high-end short-travel forks get shorter stanchion tubes to save weight, the new post sees that treatment applied to both inner and outer tubes. Travel can still be adjusted via shims, but the range is smaller so you're best off figuring out the exact travel and overall length that'll work for you and your bike.

The Fall Line R sells for $399 USD before you choose the style of remote you want, with prices for those ranging from $25 to $50 USD.


Sea Otter 2019
The lightest Stout stem weighs just 99-grams.


9point8 is expanding to the front of your bike in 2019, with the Stout being their first stem. As you probably guessed from the photos, it's a burly looking thing made for enduro and all-mountain riding, hence the short lengths to pick from. If you have a 31.8mm handlebar, there's a 30, 40, and 50mm option for you, while 35mm handlebar users start at 32mm instead.

The lightest version weighs just 99-grams with the optional anti-corrosion, PVD-coated titanium hardware that you'll get for an extra $20 USD on top of the Stout's $99 USD price tag.


Sea Otter 2019
Sea Otter 2019
Want one? It'll cost you $99 USD, and an extra $20 for the titanium hardware.



39 Comments

  • + 19
 Can someone fill me in on why droppers are now being referred to as ‘party posts’. Do people have a lot of parties that require bringing long, hard, retractable shafts?
  • + 28
 Cuz levy.
  • + 13
 There’s a party in his posts, and you’re invited.
  • + 2
 @ninjatarian: I love dropper post
  • + 14
 Oh did you fix The problem with never being able to use a 9.8 in the Winter? The fact the dust wiper doesn't work? The fact the air seal replies on excessive squeeze?
Oh how about the upper post being worn to shreds in months because of your inadequate sealing?
Not to mention when you want some spares the tiniest part costs $40 to post.
9.8, high on promise, shit house on delivery. Can't believe I espoused the benefits of these to people and the put down their hard earned money
  • + 5
 I gotta agree with this, I need to rebuild my post but that fact that it’s gonna cost me 100$ in parts and 40$ to ship is just ridiculous. For a couple seals, some lube, and a tool, seriously.
  • + 4
 Curious if you have version 1 or 2? I have 2 and it's been awesome for me although it does leak air slowly. That being said they did send me the updated seal kit without me asking, I just havnt bothered to install it yet.
  • + 1
 @Tmackstab: V2. They are a bag O shit.
  • + 1
 @Tmackstab: one more thing; the reason they keep leaking air (and the reason they don't work in winter) is because dirt and water both get past the dust wiper (because it's too hard and has no energizer), this then shags the shaft and the air seal. Sometimes they leak out of the box because the seal and groove geometry is retarded.
The droplock mechanism works great... Until the temp changes or you use it a few times and you're constantly equalising it after it shoots you in the arse on a steep decent.
What this needs is a recall or a lawsuit.
  • + 1
 @Maverick18T: you don't need the tool, just get a long threaded bolt and a nut.
  • + 2
 @Bahh: I guess I'll keep my eyes on mine. I've had it for a couple years without much complaint. Have you contacted them directly with your problems? Seems like your issues are a legitimate concern and they should help you imo.
  • + 1
 @Tmackstab: we use to sell them. They won't address the design issues (right down to having no flats on the seal head to let you use a pair of knipex pliers instead of struggling with a strap wrench.
If you silicon it every day and ride only in dry conditions they're fine...
  • + 4
 I'd upvote 1000 times if I could. Best clamp in the business. Absolutely comical dust wiper and air seal. Just incorporate a standard SKF double lip seal with garter spring and be done with it. They had me by the balls as they were the only 200 game in town but with OneUp's new post, I'm buying a new $200 post instead of spending $67 for one fricking seal just as a matter of principle. Goodbye 9.8.
  • + 1
 I was going to buy a 9.8 but after seeing lots of problems being reported with them got a bikeyoke revive instead. The revive was cheaper and hasn’t caused me any issues so far.
  • + 1
 @smogs: revive is solid as f*ck. Took me 10-20 min to do a chassis service today and it barely needed it even after winter.
  • + 1
 @Bahh: I have the brake release tool all ready, bought it with my post. I was actually referring to the key install tool because a simple rubber band doesn’t work. Not sure why they decided to go with a split key with a spring, the KS lev I had before used needle bearings, didn’t require 100$ in specialty tools to service and didn’t get my temper going during a service.
  • + 1
 Same here! I had no trouble with my 125mm for at least a year then I switched to the 150mm. It was okay for a season and then I installed it on my fatbike...okay for a month or two of riding. Next winter it was leaking air as soon as it was a bit colder! My mecanic did the rebuilt (v1 to v2) and big surprise, still leaking air on my fatbike!!!!!! Tried on my summer bike and it was okay but still not when cold! I bought a Bike Yoke 185mm instead of a Fox but after like 3months (summer) and 2 months (winter) there's already a big play with the stanchion, wtf!? Frown My next one will probably be a One Up now that they have longer stroke.
  • + 2
 @Timo82: I found my revive has a bit more play than some because of the igus bushings, but when I stripped it down they were in great condition.
The tolerance opens up with the plastic bushings, but they ultimately last longer than the metal coated ones used in reverbs etc.
What the YouTube video for revive strip down, super quick and easy.
  • + 1
 @Bahh: Oh thank you very much, I'll take a look at that!!! Smile
  • + 1
 THIS! I had 3 of these suckers between me and the wife. All 3 failed at the beginning of a weekend of riding in wet late fall conditions in VT. Muddy and around freezing temps did them in immediately. Rode all weekend with it locked out. Tried fixing them myself instead sending them in. That ended in disaster when the rubber band snapped and all the micro-bits from the keys went everywhere. I sent them in and they fixed all 3 for free and w/o a word, which was nice. But it took forever and was pricey shipping to Canada. Gave them another chance. Rode all winter. They work like poo in the winter but they all seem to, besides BikeYoke. The nail in the coffin was when a freshly rebuilt (from them) post rode like crap on a 9 day CO/UT trip. Apparently, they don't like dust either. Reverbs were working better. Freaking Reverbs! Went to Fox after that, which is has been good, but not great. And now BikeYoke which is where it's at!
  • + 2
 I liked my 9point8 fall line, but it required frequent maintenance and was somewhat complicated to service (though not nearly as bad as my reverbs). The brake mechanism got contaminated a few times which required a complete tear-down. Shipping charges for any replacement parts are ridiculously high. Recently the entire seat clamp broke in half, leaving me with no seat for the rest of the ride. I bought a PNW Bachelor post with loam lever to replace the fall line, and so far it as been great.
  • + 1
 So for a 125mm, you save about 55g vs OneUps 120mm post. Always nice to see new stuff! For the price I'd like to see some bigger weight drops as these are about twice the cost of a OneUp Post. Really like that they are both shim-able.
  • + 6
 Probably 2x the quality, have had a few 9point8 posts and they have been top notch
  • + 12
 @zyoungson: Really? Nothing but problems with mine. Even after a warranty service it still leaks air!
  • + 1
 @Quantumhigh: Same! But I love the setback too much to quit it.
  • + 2
 @Quantumhigh: same here, my fall line started out great then eventually stopped coming all the way up. Always had to pull up the last inch manually, thought that maybe I didn’t put enough PL10 grease inside when I did the SSR upgrade. When I pulled the post apart this winter I found lots of nice looking PL10 grease like I remembered, and everything on the outter tube and stanchion looked normal.

So I pulled out the droploc which was ridiculously difficult (yes I had the brake release tool on and I removed the schrader valve to prevent vaccum). When I Got the droploc assembly pulled out I found out that I had a completely dry droploc assembly. Not pictured above is the fact the the droploc brake assembly uses O-rings, said o-rings were dry and streaking up and down the inside of my stanchion tube causing friction and o-ring residue build up. Yes my post was properly setup so that the brake fully dissengaged when it was actuating, again even with the brake release tool it was extremely difficult to remove the brake because it was so dry Inside. Not sure if it’s suppose to be dry so that the brake holds firmly in place inside the stanchion but seems like a poor idea in my opinion.
  • + 1
 I love my 9point8 fall line.. My favorite feature is the ability to remove your saddle without changing the angle of it. Looks like this one has the same feature.
  • + 2
 Awesome first look at their new lineup of droppers! Typo in the second paragraph, says 9point9 instead of 9point8.
  • + 1
 Must have had their copy and paste set to auto-fill! ;-)
  • + 4
 Should say point99 to be cool, really.
  • + 1
 Who supplies the cartridge that so many dropper posts supposedly use?
  • + 3
 Wintek, specs on the cartridges vary though.
  • + 0
 Wintek
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